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Dr John Hawkins

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Monday in Turin

Posted on 2016/10/30 11:48:19 (October 2016).

[Monday 24th October 2016]
Didn't really have anything planned for the day. I had considered going to Milan, but when I looked into it most of the places I most wanted to visit (the Camparino, Nottingham Forest etc) closed on Mondays. So I just mooched around in Turin.

I suppose to some extent this was just as well, as I needed to do some laundry in the morning, and figuring out the Italian washing machine took some effort. It was a combined washer dryer, of which two functions only one seemed to really work - everything came out absolutely dripping wet. I eventually realised he radiator in my room was on, so managed to hang some things there, and the rest out on the balcony.

So after my morning of domestic chores I headed out, around 11:30, thinking I might have a nice bicerin somewhere, then lunch. Al Bicerin seemed the obvious venue for this, but I was rather taken aback to see a queue out the door! On a Monday morning in October! So I headed on instead to take a look at "Caffeteria Vermoutheria Barolino Cocchi", which I'd had on my list and was interested to see what a "vermoutheria" entailed. As the sun was not yet over the yard arm - it wasn't even quite midday - I couldn't quite bring myself to have a vermouth, and just had a coffee, thinking I would come back later on in the day. Bizarrely it's actually open during office hours, Monday to Friday, which struck me as a bit bizarre for somewhere which was surely primarily a bar.

For lunch I went to a pizza place I had starred on the map at some point - not really sure why - and I suppose the pizza was decent enough, albeit a bit soggy in the middle. It was incredibly cheap, I think my lunch, including an optional glass of wine (I went for water instead) came to a trifling 7 Euros 50.

Wasn't sure what to do with myself after that. I had a look around on my phone for any grand caffes I might not have been to yet, and found I wasn't that far from Caffe Platti, which would be a new one for me, but was one of Turin's most famous. So I headed there. I had a slightly arduous time ordering a vermouth - and stopped just short of saying "You know, the thing you city is bloody well famous for!", but did eventually manage. Turin is spoiled for these grand, opulent caffes, and here I wanted to describe the interior as some kind of rococo, but I'm probably a bit out of my depth.

I didn't linger long, and after that went back to the apartment, where I spent most of the rest of the afternoon. I think I may have actually had a nap for a bit.

Around 5, I purposefully headed out again, not quite believing that the opening hours for the "vermoutheria" I'd poked my nose in at earlier could be correct, but indeed it was now closed. What a bizarre place - I wonder who their customer base is - it's certainly not on the tourist trail, if such a thing even exists in Turin.

I met up with Dad and Janie briefly at Caffe Fiorio near the apartment for an early evening aperitivo there, but I didn't really feel like eating in, and instead I did a bit more aimless wandering, this time in the direction of Piazza Vittorio Veneto. I vaguely considered trying to have dinner at Porta Di Savona, which I get the impression is one of Turin's most famous restaurants, but the combination of not quite being able to tell whether there was anything vegetarian on the menu, and having a feeling it might be fully booked, put me off. Instead I ate at the vegan restaurant near there - since electing a vegetarian mayor recently Turin seems to be developing a growing culture of vegan/vegetarian restaurants. Somehow though I wasn't really bowled over with the meal.

I then popped over the river to a wine shop / bar a colleague had recommended, which had a better than average selection of vermouth, and had a quick drink here plus bought a bottle (of "Belle Epoque") to take back to the UK. Headed back toward the apartment after that, finishing the evening with a final drink at our "local" - Caffe Mulassano.

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